The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 13, No 1 (2009)

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The Labyrinth of Good Intentions: Transmitting Repressed Trauma via Fairy Tales

William Peat Jr.

Abstract


In several novels, the fairy tale is used as a metaphor for the experience of the Holocaust, as a means of either better understanding that experience or for altering dreadful reality. While these narratives provide insight and provoke emotional reactions, they also usually exist in the past.

Lisa Goldstein’s story Breadcrumbs and Stones resides in the “now” – the mother and her daughters are still actively suffering from the events of the Holocaust. The reader shares not only their experiences, but is also also placed in the same temporal and spatial proximity as the characters, and thus compelling the reader to ask 'Is there anything that I can do to help them escape from the forest?'

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680